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Financial Wellness — Starting 2024 Off Right

It's Financial Wellness Month. Let's explore what financial wellness means and how to get started this year.

By Austin Payne


January 10, 2024

The saying goes “New year, new you” and although it’s cliché, it’s true. Now’s the time to turn a new leaf, especially when it comes to managing your finances. It’s no coincidence that it’s Financial Wellness Month aka your chance to create new money habits, achieve new financial goals, and take steps toward a healthier financial future. 

Whether you're looking to save more, invest wisely, or simply gain a better understanding of your finances, this month is all about empowering you to make positive changes that will benefit you throughout the year. 

So, let’s dive into what financial wellness means for you and how you can get started yourself.  

What is Financial Wellness?

You’ve probably heard the phrase before— but what does it mean? What is financial wellness? 

Financial wellness is taking care of your finances. By regularly reviewing your finances and dedicating time to creating a plan, you’ll experience a positive impact on various aspects of your life.

Because let’s face it — money is involved in almost every part of our lives, so practicing financial wellness means stability in all other aspects of life too. 

Okay, that’s the broad philosophy, but what does financial wellness mean? It means taking care of the money must-haves. It means directing your finances rather than having them direct you. It means budgeting, tracking, spending, saving, investing, protecting, and planning — and it means doing it all with a purpose. So, how do you get started? 

How to Practice Financial Wellness 

Here’s your starting point: Get to know your unique financial situation. Understanding where you currently stand financially is the compass that guides your journey toward a more secure and prosperous future. It's not about judgment; it's about assessment, a critical step that informs the necessary actions to elevate your financial wellness.

How to Assess Your Finances

Answer the following questions, and this will help you find your starting point. 

  • Check your savings. Do you have a base-level emergency fund of 3-6 months worth of expenses saved up?

  • Check your debt. Do you have any high-interest debts hanging around that need to be eliminated?

  • Check your investing. Are you saving enough for retirement?

  • Check your insurance policies. Home, life, health, auto — these are all important policies that help protect your quality of life. Ensure you’re covered in all applicable areas, and that your coverage details are up to date.

  • Combine all of this information. The result of your assessment will be the discrepancy between where you are now, and where you want to go, and that gap will help to inform the steps you need to take to get there.

Where To Start This Year

Tally your 2023 expenses by vendor: Some of these expenses may be non-negotiables (electric bill, rent), but some can be renegotiated (i.e. auto insurance, cell phone service). Identify the expenses that are most important to you, and then remove any that you don’t consider essential from your budget. For more budgeting guidance, we have a comprehensive guide to help you get started this year. 

Negotiate your bills: Every quarter, look at your bills and negotiate! Most providers don’t want to lose your business, so feel free to shop around. You might find a better deal for auto insurance or gym memberships.

Use your budget to plan ahead: Your budget is your friend. Use it to plan ahead for the year—and take your expenses and income in account. If you know you have a big trip to Japan in March, you might not want to splurge on new golf clubs this year. Also, knowing what’s coming up can help you better reach your financial goals—whether it’s creating an emergency fund or saving for a new car. 

Automate investing: Make investing a priority. Set up recurring transfers to make this easy and stress-free. You can now set up recurring brokerage transfers on Origin. If you’re looking for an AUM-free platform, Origin is a great option. It’s included in an Origin membership ($12.99/month). Not only does Origin Invest never charge AUM fees, but it’s included in our comprehensive, all-in-one money management platform too. You can invest, budget, plan, learn, manage, and grow your money all in one place, right here in Origin. 

Protect yourself by shoring up your insurance policies: Life is unpredictable, and insurance ensures that unforeseen circumstances don't jeopardize your financial stability. A few recommendations: Ensure all your policies have up-to-date coverage information, check around for better deals, and reduce excess coverage if possible. 

Make Time For Your Money

At the end of the day, it’s about making time for your money and establishing a routine that allows you to do so. 

The best way to get started? Set aside the time.

Forming new habits is difficult, which is why giving ourselves structure can help get them ingrained. When you’re just starting, make time to check-in. Add it to your physical or digital calendar! This can be time to make changes to your budget, move money to your savings account, or deposit funds into your Origin Invest account.  

How Origin Can Help Your Financial Wellness Routine

Remember how we said financial wellness doesn’t have to be difficult? We weren’t joking. With an Origin account, you have the tools to manage your money with confidence and ease. Create a budget, track your expenses, meet with a Certified Financial Planner™, and file your taxes right in Origin. Try Origin for one month free, then $12.99/month.